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Bollywood rejoices comeback of encounter specialist Daya Nayak

Nishant A Bhuse | Last Modified - Jun 19, 2012, 06:58 PM IST

Daya Nayak, the encounter specialist is back.
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    daya_film_credits_1366His story is better than anything Bollywood could ever script which is not surprising, because Police Sub-Inspector Daya Nayak – the Encounter Specialist who gunned down 80 criminals in Mumbai – is personally and directly responsible for the slew of Bollywood films based on the underworld in which the police come out on top. Remember Nana Patekar’s feared Police Inspector Sadhu Agashe in the Ram Gopal Varma hit of 2004, Ab Tak Chhappan? Well, that character was inspired by Daya Nayak. RGV was proud to say so. And it’s on Wikipedia as well for the world to confirm.

    Daya was the Dirty Harry of the Mumbai Police. A rugged, devil may care cop whose very name sent gangsters and extortionists running for cover. And for which, he found himself on the hit list of the underworld; but Daya didn’t care, he packed two automatics into the waistband of his trousers, and assigned two AK-47 wielding constables to guard his back. Can any Bollywood superstar match this flamboyance? Or even his personality? He looked the role of a killing machine. Tall, broad, with a killer glint in the eye, and a body made tough with two hours of exercise in the gym lifting weights and doing cardio, playing squash, swimming. “That way my reflexes are always sharp. In a hostile situation with criminals, it is important to get off the draw first,” he once said.

    Daya’s encounters were always sensational, and he was a ‘hero’ in the eyes of the public, but he really came into his own when as part of a Crime Branch team he gunned down three Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists responsible for bomb blasts in the city in a daring daylight encounter on the busy Bombay-Agra Highway. Bollywood, which was starved of original content, went into overdrive. But, it was all too good to last. And Daya was arrested and suspended from the Mumbai Police in 2006 after the Anti-Corruption Bureau accused him of having assets disproportionate to his income.

    Despite multiple raids on his properties and an intensive investigation that lasted years, the Anti-Corruption Bureau could never prove any of its charges against the famous Encounter Specialist. And this week, after years of being out of the action, Police Sub-Inspector Daya Nayak was reinstated into the Mumbai Police.


    There is no doubt that Bollywood must be rejoicing. For Daya has been contributing to Hindi cinema since 1999 with creative inputs for films which were related to the underworld and cops. “He is one cop who will go out of the way to help us out when we are stuck between story plots – especially when we are aiming for authenticity in the underworld or police sequences,” said a screenplay writer.

    If sources are to be believed, Daya was the brainchild for films such as Company (2002), Khakee (2004), Kagaar (2003, based on his life), Ab Tak Chhappan ( 2004, inspired on his life), Aan – Men at Work (2004), Encounter - The Killing (2002) and Ek Haseena Thi (2004). Daya is also believed to have given friendly inputs to films like ‘D’ (2005), Risk (2007) and Contract (2008) which was produced by Ram Gopal Varma. Apart from Bollywood, the film industry down South also churned out a couple of films on the life of the encounter cop including Daya Nayak- License To Kill in Kannada and a Telegu film titled Golimaar in 2010 which was a roaring success at the box office.

    Daya is one of the few policemen who maintained cordial relationships with renowned B-town personalities which is why actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt and Suniel Shetty attended the inaugural ceremony of the charitable school named after his mother ‘Radha Nayak Govt High School’ in his village Yennehole in Udupi district of Karnataka. According to sources, even while he was under suspension, Daya kept his informers’ syndicate active and helped the Intelligence agencies in nabbing several key accused with terror links.

    The story goes of how Daya made himself available for all the action and confrontation scenes in N. Chandra’s Kagaar, which was produced by Dr Mrunalini and Suryakanta Patil, a former Maharashtra minister, because the film introduced Amitabh Dayal – the son-in-law of the producer – who played Daya Nayak in the film co-starring Nandita Das. The Patil family was known to the encounter specialist and when he heard they wanted a good script to launch their son-in-law, Daya suggested his own life story. A famous Bollywood filmmaker had then recommended that Daya become the creative head of a production house because he was out of work with the police force and anyway helping Bollywood with his knowledge and experience of crime. But once a cop, always a cop. And Daya doggedly hung on in the sidelines, waiting for the day when his name would be cleared and he would return to the Mumbai Police.

    That day has finally come.

    Bollywood, despite all its action on screen, would never have been able to match the exhilaration Daya must have experienced when facing gangsters and terrorists in real life encounters. He was once asked in an interview what he felt at the time of pulling the trigger on a criminal. And Daya Nayak replied with a dialogue fit only for Bollywood. “At that time,” he said, “there is no time to think. It is him or me.

    But when you wear khaki, all fear leaves you. Terrorists are fidayeen, they have killed before and will kill again. And gangsters are the scum of society, absolute rats. Encounter specialists are instruments that bring death. Real life and death is in God’s hands. These assignments are part of our work. We are mentally prepared to kill. This is duty. But it feels like winning a World Cup cricket match!”

  • +2 See more slides

    daya_film_credits_1366His story is better than anything Bollywood could ever script which is not surprising, because Police Sub-Inspector Daya Nayak – the Encounter Specialist who gunned down 80 criminals in Mumbai – is personally and directly responsible for the slew of Bollywood films based on the underworld in which the police come out on top. Remember Nana Patekar’s feared Police Inspector Sadhu Agashe in the Ram Gopal Varma hit of 2004, Ab Tak Chhappan? Well, that character was inspired by Daya Nayak. RGV was proud to say so. And it’s on Wikipedia as well for the world to confirm.

    Daya was the Dirty Harry of the Mumbai Police. A rugged, devil may care cop whose very name sent gangsters and extortionists running for cover. And for which, he found himself on the hit list of the underworld; but Daya didn’t care, he packed two automatics into the waistband of his trousers, and assigned two AK-47 wielding constables to guard his back. Can any Bollywood superstar match this flamboyance? Or even his personality? He looked the role of a killing machine. Tall, broad, with a killer glint in the eye, and a body made tough with two hours of exercise in the gym lifting weights and doing cardio, playing squash, swimming. “That way my reflexes are always sharp. In a hostile situation with criminals, it is important to get off the draw first,” he once said.

    Daya’s encounters were always sensational, and he was a ‘hero’ in the eyes of the public, but he really came into his own when as part of a Crime Branch team he gunned down three Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists responsible for bomb blasts in the city in a daring daylight encounter on the busy Bombay-Agra Highway. Bollywood, which was starved of original content, went into overdrive. But, it was all too good to last. And Daya was arrested and suspended from the Mumbai Police in 2006 after the Anti-Corruption Bureau accused him of having assets disproportionate to his income.

    Despite multiple raids on his properties and an intensive investigation that lasted years, the Anti-Corruption Bureau could never prove any of its charges against the famous Encounter Specialist. And this week, after years of being out of the action, Police Sub-Inspector Daya Nayak was reinstated into the Mumbai Police.


    There is no doubt that Bollywood must be rejoicing. For Daya has been contributing to Hindi cinema since 1999 with creative inputs for films which were related to the underworld and cops. “He is one cop who will go out of the way to help us out when we are stuck between story plots – especially when we are aiming for authenticity in the underworld or police sequences,” said a screenplay writer.

    If sources are to be believed, Daya was the brainchild for films such as Company (2002), Khakee (2004), Kagaar (2003, based on his life), Ab Tak Chhappan ( 2004, inspired on his life), Aan – Men at Work (2004), Encounter - The Killing (2002) and Ek Haseena Thi (2004). Daya is also believed to have given friendly inputs to films like ‘D’ (2005), Risk (2007) and Contract (2008) which was produced by Ram Gopal Varma. Apart from Bollywood, the film industry down South also churned out a couple of films on the life of the encounter cop including Daya Nayak- License To Kill in Kannada and a Telegu film titled Golimaar in 2010 which was a roaring success at the box office.

    Daya is one of the few policemen who maintained cordial relationships with renowned B-town personalities which is why actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt and Suniel Shetty attended the inaugural ceremony of the charitable school named after his mother ‘Radha Nayak Govt High School’ in his village Yennehole in Udupi district of Karnataka. According to sources, even while he was under suspension, Daya kept his informers’ syndicate active and helped the Intelligence agencies in nabbing several key accused with terror links.

    The story goes of how Daya made himself available for all the action and confrontation scenes in N. Chandra’s Kagaar, which was produced by Dr Mrunalini and Suryakanta Patil, a former Maharashtra minister, because the film introduced Amitabh Dayal – the son-in-law of the producer – who played Daya Nayak in the film co-starring Nandita Das. The Patil family was known to the encounter specialist and when he heard they wanted a good script to launch their son-in-law, Daya suggested his own life story. A famous Bollywood filmmaker had then recommended that Daya become the creative head of a production house because he was out of work with the police force and anyway helping Bollywood with his knowledge and experience of crime. But once a cop, always a cop. And Daya doggedly hung on in the sidelines, waiting for the day when his name would be cleared and he would return to the Mumbai Police.

    That day has finally come.

    Bollywood, despite all its action on screen, would never have been able to match the exhilaration Daya must have experienced when facing gangsters and terrorists in real life encounters. He was once asked in an interview what he felt at the time of pulling the trigger on a criminal. And Daya Nayak replied with a dialogue fit only for Bollywood. “At that time,” he said, “there is no time to think. It is him or me.

    But when you wear khaki, all fear leaves you. Terrorists are fidayeen, they have killed before and will kill again. And gangsters are the scum of society, absolute rats. Encounter specialists are instruments that bring death. Real life and death is in God’s hands. These assignments are part of our work. We are mentally prepared to kill. This is duty. But it feels like winning a World Cup cricket match!”

  • +2 See more slides

    daya_film_credits_1366His story is better than anything Bollywood could ever script which is not surprising, because Police Sub-Inspector Daya Nayak – the Encounter Specialist who gunned down 80 criminals in Mumbai – is personally and directly responsible for the slew of Bollywood films based on the underworld in which the police come out on top. Remember Nana Patekar’s feared Police Inspector Sadhu Agashe in the Ram Gopal Varma hit of 2004, Ab Tak Chhappan? Well, that character was inspired by Daya Nayak. RGV was proud to say so. And it’s on Wikipedia as well for the world to confirm.

    Daya was the Dirty Harry of the Mumbai Police. A rugged, devil may care cop whose very name sent gangsters and extortionists running for cover. And for which, he found himself on the hit list of the underworld; but Daya didn’t care, he packed two automatics into the waistband of his trousers, and assigned two AK-47 wielding constables to guard his back. Can any Bollywood superstar match this flamboyance? Or even his personality? He looked the role of a killing machine. Tall, broad, with a killer glint in the eye, and a body made tough with two hours of exercise in the gym lifting weights and doing cardio, playing squash, swimming. “That way my reflexes are always sharp. In a hostile situation with criminals, it is important to get off the draw first,” he once said.

    Daya’s encounters were always sensational, and he was a ‘hero’ in the eyes of the public, but he really came into his own when as part of a Crime Branch team he gunned down three Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorists responsible for bomb blasts in the city in a daring daylight encounter on the busy Bombay-Agra Highway. Bollywood, which was starved of original content, went into overdrive. But, it was all too good to last. And Daya was arrested and suspended from the Mumbai Police in 2006 after the Anti-Corruption Bureau accused him of having assets disproportionate to his income.

    Despite multiple raids on his properties and an intensive investigation that lasted years, the Anti-Corruption Bureau could never prove any of its charges against the famous Encounter Specialist. And this week, after years of being out of the action, Police Sub-Inspector Daya Nayak was reinstated into the Mumbai Police.


    There is no doubt that Bollywood must be rejoicing. For Daya has been contributing to Hindi cinema since 1999 with creative inputs for films which were related to the underworld and cops. “He is one cop who will go out of the way to help us out when we are stuck between story plots – especially when we are aiming for authenticity in the underworld or police sequences,” said a screenplay writer.

    If sources are to be believed, Daya was the brainchild for films such as Company (2002), Khakee (2004), Kagaar (2003, based on his life), Ab Tak Chhappan ( 2004, inspired on his life), Aan – Men at Work (2004), Encounter - The Killing (2002) and Ek Haseena Thi (2004). Daya is also believed to have given friendly inputs to films like ‘D’ (2005), Risk (2007) and Contract (2008) which was produced by Ram Gopal Varma. Apart from Bollywood, the film industry down South also churned out a couple of films on the life of the encounter cop including Daya Nayak- License To Kill in Kannada and a Telegu film titled Golimaar in 2010 which was a roaring success at the box office.

    Daya is one of the few policemen who maintained cordial relationships with renowned B-town personalities which is why actors like Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt and Suniel Shetty attended the inaugural ceremony of the charitable school named after his mother ‘Radha Nayak Govt High School’ in his village Yennehole in Udupi district of Karnataka. According to sources, even while he was under suspension, Daya kept his informers’ syndicate active and helped the Intelligence agencies in nabbing several key accused with terror links.

    The story goes of how Daya made himself available for all the action and confrontation scenes in N. Chandra’s Kagaar, which was produced by Dr Mrunalini and Suryakanta Patil, a former Maharashtra minister, because the film introduced Amitabh Dayal – the son-in-law of the producer – who played Daya Nayak in the film co-starring Nandita Das. The Patil family was known to the encounter specialist and when he heard they wanted a good script to launch their son-in-law, Daya suggested his own life story. A famous Bollywood filmmaker had then recommended that Daya become the creative head of a production house because he was out of work with the police force and anyway helping Bollywood with his knowledge and experience of crime. But once a cop, always a cop. And Daya doggedly hung on in the sidelines, waiting for the day when his name would be cleared and he would return to the Mumbai Police.

    That day has finally come.

    Bollywood, despite all its action on screen, would never have been able to match the exhilaration Daya must have experienced when facing gangsters and terrorists in real life encounters. He was once asked in an interview what he felt at the time of pulling the trigger on a criminal. And Daya Nayak replied with a dialogue fit only for Bollywood. “At that time,” he said, “there is no time to think. It is him or me.

    But when you wear khaki, all fear leaves you. Terrorists are fidayeen, they have killed before and will kill again. And gangsters are the scum of society, absolute rats. Encounter specialists are instruments that bring death. Real life and death is in God’s hands. These assignments are part of our work. We are mentally prepared to kill. This is duty. But it feels like winning a World Cup cricket match!”

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